Books (and a stat)

Two books I like the sound of. The first is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Essentially this is about the transition from an age of character (actions) to one of personality (style) where the pressure to entertain and sell oneself (and never to be nervous or unsure about oneself) is growing rapidly. Here’s the central idea of the book: “Introverts living under the extrovert ideal are like women living in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are.”

The second is It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway by David Satter. This is about Russia, its lost utopia, its nostalgia for community spirit, its demographic crisis and the rise of Putin. My take from reading a review of this book is that Russia is now primarily about lost empire and a desire to be feared.

A stat from the book (could have been another one on Russia, I can’t remember): When the Soviet Union fell apart its population stood at 150 million. By 2025 it will be between 121 million and 136 million according to the UN.

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